Photograph of a young woman with long wavy brown hair smiling while wearing braces.

Adult Braces: Are They Right for You?

Scott Uncategorized

For so many years, orthodontic braces conjured images of teenagers with metal stuck to their teeth; but so much has changed that now when people think about braces, they can picture themselves in them because there are so many options. Braces as an adult can be an effective way of correcting dental health issues, such as an overbite or just making them esthetically more pleasing. Deciding to get adult braces mostly depends on how comfortable you are with your options and the dental condition that you want to treat. Here are several things that you should know about adult braces. 

More Common Than You Think and More Than Cosmetic

Adult braces are more common than you think. There are many reasons to get braces, especially as an adult. Everyone wants to have a beautiful smile and getting braces is one way of achieving that. In many cases, people choose to get braces as an adult to fix another dental health issue. The most common reasons adults choose to have orthodontic treatment to straighten their teeth, to improve their bite, and to provide optimal tooth positions for cosmetic dentistry procedures. Braces are more than just cosmetic treatment devices. They help correct misaligned teeth, which at times can be a serious problem. Braces can correct the alignment of your teeth to prevent this from happening. In more extreme cases, braces can also be used to correct jaw alignment. Jaw misalignment can also affect how you breathe.

Types of Braces

Multiple modalities are now available so that each patient’s treatment can be customized . The traditional metal brackets that everyone is aware of are smaller now to minimize their coverage on your teeth. Esthetic (Clear braces) are also available further lessening the visual impact. Clear braces perform just as the metal braces do and now account for more than 80% of the braces we place. If you want braces that are really not visible, you can request lingual braces, which are bonded behind your teeth. Certain orthodontic treatment can be completed with clear aligners. Many adults choose one of these options because of the social pressure involved with having braces. The options are unique and have different advantages and limitations which must be considered when deciding each person’s optimal orthodontic treatment.

Length of Treatment and Cost of Braces 

Orthodontic treatment times vary considerably due to the levels of complexity of the dental issues, modality of treatment chosen, and each individual patient’s needs and desires. In general, people wear their braces for around two years. We have focused on reducing treatment times in our office for the past 20 years through the utilization of the latest and most sophisticated technologies. The majority of our patients are in treatment for 12-15 months.Treatment does not end with the removal of appliances because teeth do not magically stay in place and are never perfectly stable. Age related changes throughout our lives, facilitate continued tooth movement that can be prevented with the use of retainers.

There are many options for retainers but the ones we use most commonly are a combination of permanent and removable. Permanent retainers are a small titanium wire affixed to the back of the upper and lower front teeth which are the most susceptible to future movement. Clear, removable retainers are fabricated and recommended to be worn at night. The actual schedule over time depends on each individual’s treatment and response to retention. We plan on seeing our patients for at least 21 months following active orthodontic treatment.

Braces are relatively affordable and vary based on complexity of treatment and the options chosen. The cost of braces includes all necessary appointments to attach the braces, adjustment appointments, brace removal, and retainers that are placed once treatment is completed. You will also need regular appointments to have your braces tightened and adjusted.

If you are considering braces or orthodontic treatment of any kind, then it is time to consult with an orthodontist. Call Woodhill Dental Specialities at (214) 691-1172 to schedule an appointment.